Monday, December 10, 2012

The Greatest Threat to One Law (Hint: It's Not the UMJC or FFOZ)

This past Friday I went to Grove Ave Baptist Church's Hannukah party.  It was great.  The teaching was excellent.  One of the pastors explained why Christians should celebrate Hannukah.  Oh, and he was wearing a kippah!  

There was a small delegation there from a local UMJC synagogue.  And, yeah, they gave me the cold shoulder.  I even said "hi" to one fellow in the hall and he just glanced at me warily and kept walking.  Perhaps he didn't hear me?  

But I was thinking about something.  Where will all of this go?  I overheard the pastor tell someone that they wouldn't have been allowed to do this five years ago.  

These wonderful Christians have apparently been encountering a tough adversary:  their own denomination!  

It's funny:  the UMJC people there absolutely hate me (we have a history).  But the reality is that we're on the same team:  team Judaism.  We both only wish to show the beauty and goodness of G-d's Torah.  

The UMJC and others like them are their own worst enemy.  They make the gentiles feel excluded and so most of the gentiles (notice i said most) end up leaving dissatisfied after a while.  But the Christians are inclusionists with regard to their religion.  The Christian says triumphantly that all men should follow Christianity (even Jews).  So the Christian includes everyone and makes everyone feel welcome.

This is problematic.  Messianics shouldn't get too cozy at church---even the ones who are awakening to Jewish Roots.  Why?  Because that old threat is still there:  anti-Judaism.  

I don't even know if Grove Ave. will continue doing what it is doing.  I pray that they will continue on this trajectory!  But will they?  We don't have a lot of historical data here.  This pro-Judaism thing (e.g. pastors wearing kippot, teaching Christians to follow Hannukah because Christ followed it)...this is a new trend.  

Well, here's hoping that these Christians at Grove Ave. will continue on their journey and will not suffer reprisals from within their movement.


12 comments:

  1. One church near my area, that flipped to a Hebrew Roots group, lost half their congregation, split right down the middle. It is bound to happen... The question, is whether the pastor cares more about the paycheck, or more about the truth. The pastor told me, that a few who left at the initial split, ended up coming back later, so you never know who you are reaching or teaching. Changing a 2000 year old direction, does not happen easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it's not inevitable... There are ways of avoiding conflict...

      But perhaps resistance is a natural step in the process for some. Who knows?

      Delete
  2. So far our congregation seems to be accepting the elder's direction toward biblical culture. There are two reasons I believe that the process has been so peaceful. #1 We are gentle. We don't insist that everyone worship the same way. We have some officers on the council that attend every feast and a couple that have never attended a single one. Those of us who do try to simply be so joyful about it that they others will be attracted to it by our positive attitudes and servant's hearts. #2 We don't refer to it as "Judaism" or "Messianism" but as either "Adonaism" (making Yeshua our sovereign Lord) or simply as "biblical culture". We make it clear that while we can learn lessons from the Talmud (just as we can from all wise people), the Scriptures are our only final authority. Those who are still firmly in the goyish Christian mindset (or as we call it "Cultural Christianity" simply have nothing to object to. Our attitudes are sweet and we are calling everyone to follow the Bible more closely. What's to complain about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cajun,

      Have you studied Aikido? It sounds as though you've employed the philosophy of Aikido to great advantage in your congregation.

      Everyone should take notes on what Cajun is saying. Our movement can thrive by avoiding conflict at the congregational level. Don't try to convent people: just enjoy the Biblical Faith with all of its observances. If you are mostly silent, respectful, and joyful---what can they argue about?

      Delete
    2. Misspelling: meant to say "don't try to convert people"

      Delete
  3. I have practiced Jiu-jitsu for more than thirty years. Jiu-jitsu is the parent of Aikido, Judo and Karate. I often refer to certain principles of leadership and conflict management as "spiritual jiu-jitsu". For instance I've used the principle of non-resistance to allow offenders to have "enough rope to hang themselves". I don't allow them to abuse others in the process and the elders are swift to bring down discipline on someone who would try but we give people an opportunity demonstrate the contents of their hearts by their "fruits" and by what "their mouths speak" so that when discipline DOES have to occur, it is clear that it is deserving.
    On the positive side however, we try to cultivate a joyful, grateful culture so that people will observe not only our good works but our winsome attitudes and simply want to have what the Ruach' ha Kodesh has provided for us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I go for קרב מגע - Krav Maga. Imi Lichtenfeld was my teacher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also took Krav Maga, it was fantastic. I took Kungfu(5 Animal form), Hapkido, Kumdo, Tai Chi and Taekwondo... participated in a world tournament in South Korea and was destroyed, lol. :D

      Delete
  5. I am going tomorrow for my second knee replacement. will be away from the computer for a while. Hope I will be able to master my smartphone.

    I'll see you in my dreams....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am going tomorrow for my second knee replacement. will be away from the computer for a while. Hope I will be able to master my smartphone.

      I pray that goes well for you.

      I'll see you in my dreams....

      LOL.

      Delete
    2. Dan,

      I'll be praying for you too. Try not to get into any arguments with the doctors!



      Delete
  6. I might as well let them kill me...LOL!

    ReplyDelete